In a team with many youngsters, the North Queensland Cowboys wanted some experience and they have their man in Peta Hiku.
Hiku, who has played in both the NRL and the Super League as well as for New Zealand, signs with the Cowboys for the 2022 and 2023 seasons.
Still only 28, Hiku has played 147 NRL games over nine seasons for the Manly Sea Eagles, Penrith Panthers, and New Zealand Warriors.
Although centre is his strongest position, Hiku can offer versatility across the backline and the Cowboys are pleased to sign him.
“We’ve made no secret of our desire to add leadership to our exciting young playing roster and Peta is a guy who has experience in high-performing systems over a long period of time,” Cowboys Head of Football Micheal Luck said.
“We feel Peta has some great football ahead of him and he is excited at the prospect of showing our young outside backs what it takes to be successful in the NRL.”
Cowboys coach Todd Payten can see Hiku adding value both on and off the field for the club.
“Peta is a smart and experienced centre, who has also shown he can play fullback and in the halves,” Payten said.
“He’s really creative for his outside men, he’s a try scorer himself and he’s a good family man who is going to add value to the club on and off the field.”
Hiku, who is currently injured, was made an offer by the Warriors to stay but chose the option that was best for his family.
“We made an offer to Peta but unfortunately we couldn’t match the terms he had on the table from his new club and understandably he has to look after his family’s best interests,” said Vodafone Warriors recruitment manager Peter O’Sullivan.
“Pet has made a great contribution to the club since coming back home in 2018 and we wish him all the best for the rest of his career.”